Well, only a little, actually. You know what bugs me? Those ‘friendship’ quote unquote e-mails that say ‘if you don’t send this back, I’ll take the hint’ or those Jesus emails that say ‘if you don’t forward this, you don’t love Jesus’ etc. Ooohhh… those are a major pet peeve over here. Anywhere else? And for fun, here’s another book excerpt (ha! Finally spelled it right). I’m victim of a lovely bored streak. So you shall be my victims. Oh, and guess what – I bought a book about the Federation planets, etc. from Star Trek to help with my sci-fi, the StarWolf trilogy… Ha! So cool. =) Also, while I”m thinking about it, we watched The Great Escape the night before last. Really good movie. Really LONG movie. Steve McQueen is officially my favorite actor – for however long, I don’t know. *shrugs* Right up there with Paul Bettany, Joe Armstrong, and Johnny Depp.
So anyway, without further ado…
It did not take long for the story to reach Sardis’s ears. With a growl, Sardis stood and pushed the soldier who had born him the message away. “Chain the elf’s hands,” he said, “that should do it.”
“Uh… sir, if I might”- the soldier interjected, gingerly touching his broken nose and the long, angry red welt slashed across his face.
“Oh. Yes,” said Sardis, remembering Eristor hitting the man in the face with his ‘chained hands.’
“If you please, my lord,” said the soldier cautiously.
“What?” asked Sardis, spinning around so quickly that he nearly knocked the man over. “Speak up!”
The soldier cleared his throat and said hurriedly, “Wouldn’t it be best for you to find a buyer for him as soon as possible? How about that one that came a few weeks ago for Danis?”
Sardis gave the man an appraising look through narrowed eyes. “Yes,” he said finally. “You ride out and escort Lady Zuleika back here. Tell her I have what she’s been looking for.”
“Yes, m’lord,” said the soldier, hastily running out of the room and out into the courtyard. “Bring me a fresh horse,” he shouted to the boy who was working in the stables.
“They’ve all been turned out,” the boy shouted back.
“Then go down to the pastures and bring one up!” the soldier retorted, sounding annoyed. The boy nodded and ran around the stables, out of sight.
Alec grinned. The horses had just been taken out to graze – thank Amar, now he could see Tylir. Even though it had only been a few hours without seeing another of his friends, it would still relieve him to see something he was used to seeing. He ran until he got a stitch in his side, then jogged up to the pastures over the hill.
Tylir saw him first, and waved his arm. “Alec!” he called. The boy approached him in a few seconds, then could not speak until he caught his breath.
“What are you running from?” asked Tylir, laying a rope bridle over the sturdy wooden fence.
“One of the soldiers wants a fresh horse,” Alec finally managed.
A slow smile spread over Tylir’s face. “He wants a fresh horse, I’ll see he gets just that. A very fresh horse.”
As Alec caught his meaning, Tylir tapped his arm and motioned him to follow, picking up the bridle again. They walked the length of the pasture and opened a gate that connected it to another. “Come on,” said Tylir. Then he gave a loud whistle.
“How do the horses know your whistle already?” asked Alec, puzzled.
“They don’t,” said Tylir. “The soldier told me that’s the signal that means it’s time for the horses to be fed.”
“So you lied to the horses,” grinned Alec. When Tylir gave him an odd look he laughed and said “I’m just joking.”
Soon several horses appeared, kicking up their heels and looking eager. “This might be difficult,” said Tylir. “These colts are still green – old enough to ride, but barely trained.”
“I see what you meant by ‘fresh,’” said Alec, smiling widely. Tylir gave him a grin.
“That’s what I meant,” he agreed. “Would you mind going around the back and moving that dun horse in this direction?”
“That one?” asked Alec, pointing towards a horse whose coat was yellowish and his mane, tail, and lower legs black.
“Yup,” said Tylir, moving around the opposite direction. Alec obeyed his orders and walked around behind the horse, then shouted “Hya!”
The startled colt whirled around, rearing up slightly at the sharp sound. “He turned around!” called Alec, “was he supposed to?”
“Usually he runs,” said Tylir, sounding apologetic and amused at the same time. “Wave your arms, chase him this direction.”
Alec charged the horse, screaming and waving his arms like someone insane. The horse shied and turned around, trotting quickly in Tylir’s direction. It took a few tries, but finally Tylir got the rope around the horse’s neck, then pulled the bridle over his face.
Alec walked up, breathless. “That took long enough,” he said with a short laugh, “I’d better hurry back with the horse before I get in too much trouble.”
“I wish I could watch that soldier try to mount this horse,” laughed Tylir, patting the horse’s neck. “Being a slave has its perks, I guess.”
Alec grinned, then said with sudden anxiety, “Will I be able to get him to the stables without much trouble?”
“Once they have a bridle on, they’re a bit more docile,” said Tylir. “They’re partially trained, remember. They know their paces.”
“Right,” said Alec, clucking his tongue and leading the horse out of the pasture. “This’ll be fun.”